A photo a week throughout 2019: our family, just as we are. 11/52 (yes, I skipped a week)
“Your plate is full,” she said after I spelled out the particular challenges of the past few months. “Like, I think you might need some more plates.”
That’s how I’m feeling, too. Except I can’t add too many plates, because I only have so many hands, and my children already outnumber me half a dozen times over. I do currently have a belly-shelf where my very full plate can rest when I’m seated, at least until our son is born in a few weeks. The plate does get kicked and knocked around by his vigorous movement in there, but to see him active and healthy in spite of our complicated journey makes me smile in the midst of the struggle and uncertainty constantly swirling around me.
I sit at the dining room table amid the remnants of the meal my children have left behind for the activities they’re off doing around the house; chicken burgers and a pasta-veggie combo from the frozen aisle at Costco. I haven’t been eating meals with my family most of the time because it takes extra time and intention to prepare the custom gestational diabetes-friendly food I currently require. By the time I sit down, most or all of the kids are on to other adventures.
My bowl of chicken salad and sizable plate of veggies are satisfying, but they also speak to the constant loneliness of the season I’m in—with real and present challenges no one else fully knows. I miss our simple family dinners when I could make one meal and we could sit together for half an hour, laughing about the quirks and joys of the large collection of personalities around this table.
I have moments of joy, but I have many more moments of other, more troubling emotions.
The recipe currently comprising my life is one part anticipation, two parts struggle, and easily three parts uncertainty mixed up with anxious thoughts. In many moments, it feels difficult to suck in a satisfying breath and let it out again, and whatever nebulous layer covers the surface of my big emotions seems dangerously thin nearly all of the time.
Alone at the table, I am close to tears. When I’m not in motion, not powering through the momentary challenge in front of me (which of late has been simple things like tying my shoes and mustering the energy to rise from a chair for any task at all), the weight of everything presses me forcefully toward random and uncontrollable weeping.
1551. induction in 4 days, 1552. peppermint lifesavers, 1553. naps, 1554. tender moments, 1555. finding peace, 1556. friend check-ins, 1557. baby laundry done & hospital bag packed, 1558. made blankets for baby – hawks & planes, 1559. grace in the midst of canceled commitments, 1560. slow pace & quiet home days